Archives For IKEA

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the word ‘sofa’? I also hate the words ‘swag’ and ‘sneakers’ in case you are wondering (Apparently, I hate words that start with an ‘s’).

Anyway, the point is there are tables which go behind couches and they are often called ‘sofa tables’, but since I just can’t call them that, I’m going with ‘behind-the-couch table.’ Just go with it.

My living room is long and skinny which makes arranging it interesting. I’ve found that a table behind the couch not only “shortens” the distance between the couch and the rest of the room, but it also gives me a place to display cool stuff. The one I found I wanted was from IKEA and it cost $170 (It is now discontinued). So since I couldn’t afford it at the time I created my very own behind-the-couch table!

I used empty tubs and boxes to create the “table” and then covered it in fabric.

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It was like this for almost a year before I gave it a makeover by adding another layer of tub lids to make it sturdier. I also changed the fabric to a clean white sheet.
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This version lasted another one and a half years. It was always on my to-do list to build or buy something more permanent, but the temporary version worked so nicely it wasn’t a major priority.

But the temp solution definitely wasn’t flawless. Of course, it all comes back to Bob. As you know, Bob sucks. He regularly sits on this “table” meaning it was starting to buckle under his weight. Last week, when he got particularly riled up about a cat/squirrel/mail person he knocked over one of my plants. Thankfully he didn’t break the planter but it looked like this:

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If this were a solid surface I could easily wipe off the dirt, but since it’s a sheet it requires removing all of the things, washing the sheet, and then putting back all of the things. And I’m super lazy. I’m so lazy that I would rather build a table than just wash the sheet. I guess maybe that doesn’t make me lazy, just weird.

So I just did it. I followed a few tutorials (this one and this one). Here is what I bought to make a 75″ long behind-the-couch table to fit behind an IKEA Karlstad couch:

2 – 23″ tall 12″ x 2″ boards

1- 75″ long 12″ x 2″ board

4 – corner braces, size 4″

1 – 15 quantity box of 1.5″ wood screws

4 – 3″ wood screws (I had these on hand)

Honestly the most difficult part of this whole thing was buying and having the lumber cut. It was stressful because I’ve never done it before. Also, loading and unloading the lumber to and from my car and then into my house was a little sweaty.

I connected the “legs” to the main board by using the corner braces. I pre-drilled the holes which made it really simple and fast.

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When I stood the table up (quite a bit more difficult than you would think) it was a bit wobbly. I decided I’d rather lose the smooth top surface for sturdiness, so I drilled four (two on each side) 3″ screws to further stabilize it. Since this step was unplanned, I just used what I had on hand. I was lucky enough to find 4 – 3″ screws but they unfortunately didn’t have a flat profile. Ah well, it wasn’t worth a trip to the store so I have no regrets.

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Next came my least favorite part, painting. I can’t seem to go a weekend without painting something. If I believed in purgatory, I’d venture to say it involved an endless painting project.

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As you can see, I’m so lazy, I didn’t even bother to paint the underside. Future Jasmin may be annoyed at this decision, but present Jasmin is very pleased with the choice.

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I am not the best at being patient so I should have sanded more, should have put on a second coat of primer, should have bought a clear sealer, should have should have should have blah blah blah. You should do all of those things. Do as I say, not as I do.

I tried my hardest to wait a full 48 hours so it would cure, but I only made it about 30 hours. Again, do as I say, not as I do. Seriously.

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A power strip and router are hiding under the table.

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Not bad if I do say so myself!! And the best part is it only cost me $41 and one afternoon. If you are nervous about building a simple piece of furniture like this here’s my public endorsement: You can do it!*

*As long as you have a power drill and a vehicle big enough to transport the wood. Oh, and $41.

I Got Bookshelves!!!

January 6, 2014 — 3 Comments

I’ve loved books my whole life. I started collecting them even as a kid. I recently found a picture of my first set of grown up bookcases. I got them when I was 13 and it was such a big deal!

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

It’s all so teen – the Christmas lights hung year round, the collector edition Barbies, all the candles. It makes me so happy that I took pictures of them when they were like that. One of my favorite activities was to take all the books out and then reorganize them. That’s not a joke, I really did love to do that!

But back to present day, I’ve been in the market for bookcases for about two years now. I’ve been like a broken record about my ‘dream bookcase‘ but I actually finally got one! Technically, it isn’t my ‘dream bookcase‘ but I’m okay with that. The bookcase I wanted was 8 feet tall by six feet wide with glass doors and was $560 (which is pretty insane considering it is just particle board). The bookcase I ended up getting is 7 feet tall by 6 feet wide with no glass doors and was only $150!! So, I lost a foot off the top and glass doors, BUT I’m happy that I didn’t ‘invest’ in something that isn’t real wood. If I’m going to spend over $500 on something I want it to be a good quality item that will last a long time.

Before:

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And here are my three new bookcases!

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

Little House Design: New IKEA Billy Bookshelves

It is so nice to have all of my books out and in one place! My old black bookcase in my room only held about half of my books (the other half were in tubs in the spare bedroom). Then there was the last 10 months where my bedroom floor became a makeshift bookshelf. Now finally, my books are displayed nicely in one place. Right now the walls on both sides and the top of the bookcase are bare so we’ll see if I had stuff later. For now, I’m just happy that my wandering books have found a home.

This is my dining room as of September 2013, enjoy!

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

This is the exterior and entryway of my house as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

when to buy vintage when to buy new

One of my greatest dilemmas when buying things for my house is whether to buy vintage or buy new. There are merits to both! There are pitfalls to both! A classic pro and con list is called for.

Pro: Buying Vintage 

If you found a (seemingly) one of a kind item at some dusty thrift shop on a gross side of town then make way for some major bragging rights. Oh, that old thing? It’s unique, awesome, and it was only three cents. Also, vintage items have that perfectly rusted and perfectly distressed look to them that just cannot be recreated (although we’ve all tried at some point). Vintage items can also be significantly cheaper than new items that look old. In my experience the further away from any major city you go the cheaper the items are (not to be city snob but country folk don’t always know what they have). Another pro? Finding a cool vintage piece feels like winning the lottery. You searched and you found that perfect vintage school map for under $100 and the shopper’s high is incredible.

Con: Buy Vintage

Buying vintage is kind of a lot of work. I mean, it’s not like you can just go to the one perfect thrift shop in town that has all the cool stuff for affordable prices (unless that place exists, in which case, tell me where!). Buying vintage takes driving around to all the thrift shops in town and sifting through loads upon loads of unorganized, dusty junk to find that one brass figurine that your heart has always desired. Your hands will smell and you’ll be hungry and you’ll get drowsy from all the driving. Not to mention that vintage items can be really overpriced. I’m sorry, you want how much for the dinged up, not to mention non-functioning, letter ‘T’ from an old neon sign??? I mean it would look insane in my dining room but I’m not paying three figures for it! And now with the proliferation of blogs and Pinterest that once unique light up globe lamp that you found for $12 (ahem) doesn’t look so special when ever other photo on the internet showcases one. If you think about it, we are basically buying stuff that was mass produced 50 years ago, it isn’t really that unique, it just happened to have survived the last few decades.

Pro: Buying New

Pretty much any store that sells housewares has vintage-looking items. That distressed crate with French words, the side table with the brass capped legs… you know what I’m talking about. The obvious pro to buying new is convenience. Any home store will have a vintaged-ly patterned china set and hey! it will all match and you won’t spend hours/days/years thrifting to find a matching set. Also, can I just say cleanliness. Thrifting isn’t for the faint of heart, I have been in some straight-up nasty stores looking for vintage stuff, in comparison, you could perform surgery in Target it’s so clean. Buying new will also provide you with more knowledge of the piece you are buying. If you are buying a new mid-century style dresser you will know the quality based on where you purchase it, buying the same style dresser at a vintage shop and your guess on it’s origins, quality, and life span are only just that.

Con: Buying New

My number one problem with buying new stuff is unoriginality. Sure I love a lot of stuff at IKEA and Target but the likelihood that someone I know will also purchase the same piece is up there. Number two? Price. I wanted a side table that looked like a bar cart but I knew that if I purchased it new it would be over $100, so I buckled down and thrifted until I found what I wanted for $15. Also, buying new doesn’t necessary mean it will be good quality. Most furniture sold today is particle board or some sort of manufactured wood, but vintage stuff can often be well made. Just think about it, there is a 0% chance that Lack side table from IKEA is going to last even until next year let alone 30 years from now. Vintage furniture has stood the test of time.

So what do you think? Are you dedicated to the vintage hunt or are you happy with the convenience of buying new? I definitely lean more toward vintage but I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of buying new things. I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!

Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Kitchen Photographs

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my kitchen as of September 2013, enjoy!
Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 4 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

New Plants, Part 3 of 4

September 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

I managed to make 20 succulents stretch into four planters (Part 1 and Part 2) and here is the third one!

I had this little glass dish/jar/bowl (?) from something, maybe a flower arrangement or something? I kept it because it’s hard to just throw away a nice glass thing so it’s been in the back of a cabinet for a long time. Anyway, I thought it would make a cute little mini-terrarium (its about 6″ tall x 5″ in diameter).

Yeah, I’m aware how blurry this pic is, 
but give me a little a credit, I was still be-casted at this point.
Like, the brass planter, I went rock-finding in my backyard to aid in the drainage of this non-planter turned planter.
Remember my little greenhouse? Well, I’m happy to report, that even though my baby greenhouse did not have a home or any occupants for a few days, it does now! Baby terrarium meet baby greenhouse.
Happy, happy plants!

A Baby Greenhouse

August 23, 2013 — Leave a comment

Okay, it’s not a greenhouse for babies (although that could either be adorable or horrifying depending how you interpret the meaning) but it is a tiny greenhouse and it’s freaking adorable. Let me start at the beginning. I’ve been obsessed with this greenhouse from IKEA since I first saw it online a while back (I gushed about it here) but I haven’t been to IKEA in about two years so I was satisfied with admiring it from afar. That is until my parents made a trip to IKEA and asked me if they could pick anything up for me. A day later, this baby was in my house (and it was only $19.99!).

Of course, the hitch in the plan was that I was attempting to assemble something from IKEA with my dominant hand in a cast, but dang it if I am not obsessively determined/this thing was actually easy to assemble.
I like that it has three settings:
1) Propped open

2) Open

3) Closed

Alright you got me, I am guilty of buying something that I don’t have a place for or anything to fill it with, but I kind of don’t care because I like it so much.

I envision it filled with little baby plants and other little objects, but one step at a time. For now, I am just enjoying having a tiny greenhouse on my dining room table.